How DO we keep prices so low? Oh, that's how...

Pilot fish is trying to order from an ecommerce site and hits a snag: A web form has a seriously incomplete picklist on an absolutely essential field.

"As a result, I spend 20 minutes on the phone to order one item," says fish. "I tell the customer service rep that I'm quite fluent in computer, I explain about the impossible field, and I ask how to set up a web account.

"She doesn't know. Her supervisor doesn't know either, but she gives me the tech-support number.

"Next time I want to order I call...oops, what she gave me is an in-house support number -- not something for us customers. And it's general IT support for the employees, and they have nothing to do with the website.

"The next time I call to order, I explain the problems I had with the tech support number. They still have no better answer.

"The next cheapest supplier is more than $100 more, so voting with my feet isn't practical. I guess they figure tech support costs money, so why would they have it?"

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